- Hyundai Motor doesn't just build cars. The company is also developing its incredible 'Iron Man' exoskeleton technology, taking design innovation beyond the confines of the road.
Design and the car industry have always been complimentary partners. How a car looks is a major factor why people choose to buy a particular model, and the people behind auto aesthetics are among the finest in their field. It’s no surprise then that car manufacturers bring their engineering and design expertise beyond the factory floor to create other imaginative and innovative products.
Some of these developments take the form of visionary concepts for the future like new modes of travel. Others are solving challenges that exist today, like assisting doctors in the world of medicine and mobility.
Down the years, Hyundai Motor hasn’t just created cars which have won awards for design but has branched out to create other innovative products such as a high-performance bobsleigh and ‘Egg’ scooter.
The company is also showcasing another incredible innovation, its “Iron Man” wearable exoskeleton. Take a look at this inspiring technology and some of the other non-car products that Hyundai has created.
Hyundai Motor Group is developing wearable robotic mobility which could have a huge impact in areas like medicine and manufacturing. Hyundai’s exoskeleton weighs roughly 50 kilogrammes and among its uses, could help paraplegics to walk again or aid older people to become more mobile or stand for longer periods.
In the movies, Tony Stark’s Iron Man super suit endows him with heroic powers but in real life, the technology can also give the wearer vastly increased strength, enabling them to lift hundreds of kilogrammes of weight. For the manufacturing industry, this could massively decrease the risk of injury while increasing productivity.
Hyundai’s N brand uses engineering expertise gained from Hyundai Motorsport’s participation in the World Rally Championship. Building on this high-performance technology, Hyundai Motor worked directly with the Korean National bobsleigh team to create the ‘Hyundai N Bobsleigh 2016.’ The independently-developed bobsleigh was debuted at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. Ergonomic vessels have been customised to fit each of the team’s athletes, used in the 2015/16 winter sports season. An upgraded bobsleigh is also being developed for the team to participate at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
E4U ‘Egg’ concept
Hyundai's egg-shaped E4U was developed to illustrate new urban mobility concepts. The open-topped single person scooter used a 'rotating semi-spherical part' instead of wheels which worked like a rolling ball for propulsion. The top half of the car was worn as a helmet while driving was controlled by the leaning and tilting of the driver.
Before Hyundai’s innovative ix35 Fuel Cell, the company imagined how the same technology could be applied in the sport of drag racing. The Hyundai Gator was created for the Los Angeles Auto Show Design Challenge 2006. With drag racing having its roots in Southern California, the concept car was inspired by the racers of the 1960s, with the hood housing hydrogen storage tanks and electric motors in the giant rear wheels.
Hyundai 'My Baby' exhibit
In 2008, Hyundai started an internal competition called ‘My Baby’ to showcase the creativity of the company’s designers. These skilled experts were challenged to imagine a future without technological or manufacturing limits and create ideas for future transportation. Among the concepts were a human android robot, a flying suit, amphibious transportation, an ocean purifying unit, and a moving city.